Supplement Advice for Strength & Conditioning, Plus Current Plan

Hello Gentlemen:
Saw a post by a 50 y/o guy asking advice, but his goals and mine differ, so thought I’d try to get some suggestions with a new topic.
If this should be posted elsewhere I apologize.

Here we go:

47 y/o male, 6’2", 225lbs, right hand very weak due to an injury in the military in '91.

Goal: (1) Strength (entire body) (2) Toned muscles

I do not have access to what we’d consider a “good” gym (i.e., Gold’s) with free weights. I (sadly) have to go to a Planet Fitness which is loaded with machines, a good assortment of dumbbells and the only barbell stuff is 3 smith machines. No squat rack, or barbell to use without one.

Because of my hand, when using over 50lb dumbbells, I use lifting straps. Pull movements are 5 times as hard for me as push movements.

What would a strength building program look like to you if you were considering MY parameters?

I’m flexible with the diet, and am ok with using supplements as needed. The goal is most important to me, vs. the required steps to achieve it.

Money for supplements is not abundant. Could maybe go $300/month on them.

Please know that it has been a while since I was faithful in working out, and am much weaker than I am ok with. I figure if I work on strength, the rest (lithe muscle visible under skin) will be easier in the future?
Am trying to rebuild the foundation I had 20 years ago. Oh, I hate indoor cardio stuff, especially ellipticals.

3 years ago, I was at 387lbs bodyweight by the way. But even at a loss of 162, there’s a good 20lbs to go, and my strength has decreased, probably due to age, lack of activity outside of the gym, and not being able to use my dominant hand much. But I just do not care how much more pain lifting causes at this point. Screw it. I’ve gutted stuff out that was worse.

Thank you for any help/input.

Below my signature is a mini of what I started doing Monday 2/2/17


Dumbbell chest press: 30, 40, 45lb x 12 reps each
Dumbbell rows: 40, 50, 55 lb x 12 reps
Seated cable row: 60, 70, 80 x 12
DBell forward raise: 25, 30, 30 x 12
DBell seated shoulder press: 25, 30, 35 x 12
Leg Ext machine: 60, 70, 80 x 12
Ham curl machine: 50,60, 70 x 12
Weighted ab machine (crunch) 50lb x 50

I did workout today, but will spare you the details.

Example of tomorrow’s planned workout:
Seated cable row: 70, 80, 90 x 10
DBell Row: 50, 55, 60 x 10
Cable Lateral Pulldowns: 60, 70, 70 x 12
Leg Extension machine: 70, 80, 90 x 10
Ham curl machine: 60, 70, 70 x 10
Calf presses using hammer strength leg press: 235 x 12-15
Ab crunch machine: 60lbs x 50

My typical day’;s food intake:
0600 - protein drink
0800 post workout protein drink
1100 - 4 scrambled egg whites
1700 - 12 oz red meat, veggies
2100 - protein drink
No current supplements. Mix in some of that digestive system powder stuff with the protein drinks 2 of 3 times. I know I need to use broccoli & cauliflower, etc. as well, but have gotten into a minimalist sort of diet from getting rid of a lot of ugly fat, so mixing up protein powder with water is just more comfortable to me than actually cooking stuff most of the time.
Fluids: Water approx. 1.5 ga/day; Coffee (black) 2-6 cups/day
1-2 bottles Guiness one evening per week max

Ha, I like how this was an afterthought. Like, “Oh, by the way, almost forgot that I lost a person’s worth of weight.” Great work, man.

Wanting to build strength is excellent, but get specific. Having a specific goal will give you a better framework to design an efficient training plan. I suggest using the S.M.A.R.T. approach to setting goals.

What’s the heaviest pair of dumbbells they have at your gym? Maybe set a goal to do X amount of overhead presses with them. Or a goal to rack pull X amount of weight for 5 reps on the Smith. Something more tangible will let us set up a better routine. I couldn’t really find the rhyme or reason to your current plan. One day his back, chest, shoulders, legs, and abs. Another day hit just back, legs, and abs.

To build strength, you generally want to work most sets in a 3-6 rep range. Doing more work with sets of 10-12 prioritizes size. But again, that comes back to how heavy the equipment is that you can use.

As for your nutrition, I understand it being easier to have shakes, but it looks like your total calories are pretty low. I didn’t run the numbers, and the “protein shakes” can vary based a bit on what’s in them, but if you’re even getting 2,000 calories I’d be surprised. Someone your size should be shooting towards 2,300 or so at the lowest (depending on a few things, like your current bodyfat).

It also seems like you’re low fat and low carb (again, depending on exactly what’s in the protein shakes). You need to give yourself all the macros to fuel recovery and growth. Having a high protein/low carb/low fat diet can actually “teach” your body to burn protein for fuel which is something we don’t want.

For supplements, basic stuff is fine. I suggest upgrading your workout nutrition to Surge Workout Fuel. You can have 1 scoop during training instead of a post-workout drink. This article explains why that’s a better way to time it. That’s the best place to start.

Ha! Yeh, I did “lose a person” off my body!

Got pi**ed off today with PFitness & their lack of equipment, did an online search & found a reasonably priced gym where competitive powerlifters work out, and it is actually CLOSER than the PFitness candyland.

Toooo cool!

Since I was going back this evening, I’ll go to the new place instead, where thank God I can do some squats! Will be the first squats I’ve done since 1999…looking VERY forward to being around like minded people there.

The nutrition comments make sense. I’ll crank the intake up a little at a time. Had actually bought some protein bars today that actually have some carbs in them, an anomaly for me. But from what you say, that’s probably spot on?

As for the actual movements,here’s the skeleton of what I was thinking about doing after a day off tomorrow(?):

Day 1: Bench, 135x10, 145x8, 155x6 (yes these are low, but I’ve not used a bench for a year! It’ll jump up quick enough…)

Day 2: Need recommendations for back

Day 3: Squats/deadlifts, weights TBD, but same scheme as listed for bench on day 1

Can you fill some stuff in/add to this basic scheme? It’d be great to have some input on what else to do.

Note: Today I got a good pump using the dumbbells at PF. Did 3x20 flat, 2x20 incline.
Afterwards, did triceps press, 3x25, forward raises 4x20, then hit abs

Questions: Is it ok to hit abs every workout?
What about doing one major lift per day for 3 days, a day off, then repeat?
What’s the best way to arrange the big lifts to get max strength results?
front squats - do I do these in addition to regular squats or in place of them?

That covers the curious George questions for now…

Thank you very much for replying, and I hope it continues.

My bodyfat percentage is unknown to me. How do I get a measure without spending a mint? Do the scales that measure BMI work for that?

Hell, I don’t even know my measurements, only that they probably suck out loud!

Thanks again!

add to last reply:

The goal is the physique similar to “King Leonidas” on the movie “300.”

Can I still do that at age 47 ya think?

Just looked st the SMART approach. Here’s the goals:
Add 2" on chest, 2" on biceps, get rid of flab between pecs & lats, waist decrease by 1".Time: 6 months
Able to work out dang near as often as required.
Constraint: Hand strength. NO way to target grip due to chronic, intractable pain that will increase in direct proportion to amount of exercise.
Is this better?
Sorry I didn’t do this earlier.
Would it be helpful if I post pictures from 2 yrs ago, now, & upon completion of a program? Don’t care for that idea much, but can sacrifice some ego if it’ll help…
Thanks again! Will check for responses tonight or in the morning (hint :))

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